NA-F2000: Pikes Peak 6/27 Morioka release

For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com Morioka Sets Fastest Lap of Session And Then Is Involved in Racing Accident FOUNTAIN, Colo., June 27 - Just a lap after setting the fastest lap of the morning ...

For more information: Linda Mansfield, lindamansfield@CompuServe.com

Morioka Sets Fastest Lap of Session And Then Is Involved in Racing Accident

FOUNTAIN, Colo., June 27 - Just a lap after setting the fastest lap of the morning practice session Friday morning in U.S. Formula Ford 2000 practice at Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway, Zak Morioka's Kentucky Fried Chicken of Brazil/A.M.E. Sports Van Diemen was clipped by a car spinning out in front of him and Morioka hit the outside wall in turn four. He was not hurt and he was examined in the infield medical center and released. The car suffered extensive front and side damage, which the Hayes Motorsports team is currently accessing.

"It was just a racing accident; the other driver, James Yott, couldn't avoid hitting me because he was spinning," Morioka said. "It was nobody's fault. I did my best to avoid the whole thing, but when he hit my front wheels and I couldn't save it, I knew I was headed for the wall. I took my hands off the steering wheel when I hit so I wouldn't break a wrist or anything. I know I'll be sore in the morning and it was a hard hit, but it wasn't the worst crash I've ever had by any means. I just hope the car can be fixed in time for qualifying, but if it can't be fixed in time, we'll go to our back-up car. We know a fast set-up because we were fastest in practice here yesterday as well as this morning, so we'll just have to see how bad the car is now. I have a great crew, and they're already hard at work."

The lap before the accident Morioka set the fastest lap of the 34 drivers in practice when he toured the 1-mile oval in 27.238 seconds for an average speed of 132.11 mph. J. Michael Johnson was second-fastest with a lap at 27.364 seconds or 131.55 mph. Duncan Dayton was third at 27.431 seconds, 131.23 mph. Robby McGeehee was fourth at 27.452 seconds, 131.13 mph. David Rutledge rounded out the top five at 27.503 seconds, 130.89 mph.

On the all-day practice session on Thursday, Morioka ran even faster. He was the fastest of all the drivers with a time of 27.277 seconds, or 131.979 mph. He ran a total of 163 laps Thursday. Jeff Shafer was second on Thursday followed by Urubatan Helou Jr., Ryan Hampton and Dayton.

Another practice session is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 1:15 p.m., just hours from now. Qualifying is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday and the consy is set for 3 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday a warm-up session is slated for 9:15 a.m. followed by the 50-lap/50-mile race at 10:30 a.m. The 200-lap Samsonite 200 Indy Racing League headlined race carries a 1 p.m. starting time on Sunday.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Duncan Dayton , David Rutledge , Ryan Hampton , Michael Johnson , Jeff Shafer